My Rory turned 10 this year. He’s so tall, people think he’s more like 13. But he’s just 10, and when I told him we’d have a birthday party at home I still wanted to do something fun with it. In a few years, he won’t even want a “theme.” So I dove in to find a birthday party idea that would be fun for 10 year olds: not to immature but still themed and interesting. I also wanted to use as much as I could from around the house, as 10 year old boys don’t appreciate decorations, candles, bows and glitter enough to justify buying a boatlad of new stuff.
I settled on a “Fear Factor” themed party. Most of the kids didn’t know what “Fear Factor” was, but the name was intriguing enough. I told Rory we’d be doing Challenges but I didn’t give him any specifics. I didn’t want him to tell his friends.
When each kid arrived, they pulled a card and were either on the Red or Blue team. This gave them some inherent competition – if nothing else, they wanted to beat the other team at the “Challenges” that awaited.
I bought some streamers, balloons, banner, etc. from the dollar store and Zach hung them up and I laid out a table with some chips, dip, cups and other snacks.
They played in the back year while we waited for everyone to arrive. Once everyone was there, the “Fear Factor” themed challenges began!
Dried Bunny Barf Relay
Each child was timed picking up a piece of “Dried Bunny Barf” (dried carrot slices, like banana chips, but with carrots) with their mouth and no hands, running it from one end of the yard, touching a stool there and running back.
They were VERY apprehensive about the “dried bunny barf,” and it was a great “ice breaker” challenge.
The boy with the fastest time won a prize (we’d bought several “bigger” dollar store toys to give away as prizes) and the winning boy’s teammates each got to pick a mini candy from a bag.
Dead Bug Collector
We took a Dollar Store (notice a pattern here?) bag of plastic bugs and mixed them up with noodles, expired flax seeds, beans, etc. – whatever chunky foods we could find in the pantry that had worn out their welcome. The kids had to collect the bugs but NOT the frogs, snakes and lizards that were also in the mix.
The winner got a “bigger” prize and his team a mini candy each.
We did it outside and hosed their hands off as soon as they were done.
They were really into it. Ready for more. Next was the…
Baby Food Challenge
Each child was given a mystery flavor of baby food – they just had to guess what is was. No hints. Some flavors were pretty easy, like applesauce. The faces were priceless! Some boys were really grossed out by eating baby food and others had no problem – some even went for seconds.
Each boy who guessed correctly got a mini candy, and so did his team. So basically everyone got some candy. All were happy.
Whipped Cream Bubble Gum Bonanza
I put one chunk of gum, think big pieces, like Bubbalicious in the middle of a paper plate for each child. Over each pice of gum I sprayed a hearty amount of whipped cream.
The boys had to lay on the ground on their stomachs and fish the gum from the whipped cream using just their mouths. The first kid to stand back up and blow a bubble wins – and his team wins a candy too.
Pig Guts Key Search
A classic “Fear Factor” type of Challenge, the “Pig Guts Key Search” involved pig guts (or just gross Dollar Store foods, like jello and canned meats) dumped in a tub.
Each team is given a lock. Inside the “Pig Guts” are 10 keys, only one of which fits in each teams lock. First team to unlock their lock wins mini candies.
This was truly gross. I may have done too good a job on the “Pig Guts” because a couple of kids sat on the sidelines for this Challenge – rooting their team on, but not geting NEAR the mixture.
We served about 6 Little Caesars Pizzas and played musical chairs (that was their idea!) once it started to get dark. We had the cake and candles and an “Ice Cream Bar” where everyone could pick from an assortment of toppings and flavors.
I had a couple of extra, more “indoors-y” Challenges ready in case we needed them, like putting together a puzzle the fastest. They watched a movie, played video games, and a few of the boys slept over.
Word on the street is, it was “pretty cool.” Win!